We fell in love with Visa-o1 before it hit the streets of Brickell back when it was a hidden gem on South Beach, and their recent name change to Mister-o1 may have us loving it even more. We’ve all heard about the o-1 visa that was granted for Renato Viola because his pizza-making skills were enough for him to be considered an “individual with extraordinary ability or achievement.” He prided himself on it so much that he named his restaurant after it.
Unfortunately Visa, the credit card company isn’t as convinced with his skills and filed a lawsuit against our beloved pizza spot.
After being sent letters demanding that they change their name, because the name infringes on the trademark of the credit card company, the owners of Visa-o1 consulted their lawyers who knew the fight would take more time and money than it was worth, after all – the magic is in the pizza, not their name.
Quickly Visa-o1 rebranded and became Mister-o1. It seemed to happen overnight.
“The name has changed but the pizza is the same,” said co-owner Umberto Mascagni.
We’re fans of the underdog, and will always be on Mister-o1’s side. Even a global credit card company can’t take away the love we have for the local pizza shop on the corner.
Kudos to Renato Viola and Umberto Mascagni for taking it in stride and not letting it affect their extraordinary pizza and dedicated work ethic.